Loewen leaves game with possible knee injury
The Hillsboro High School girls basketball team defeated Hesston, 46-44, Tuesday in Hillsboro.
The game was a physical battle from the outset. The Swathers employed a strategy of driving hard into the lane and drawing Trojan fouls.
“We knew they were a quality team,” head coach Nathan Hiebert said. “All of those players on the floor do something for them. They have a lot of talented girls.”
The two Trojans who thrived in this environment were Krista Reimer and Danae Bina.
With the Swathers up 30-28 with 3 minutes, 51 seconds in the third quarter, Bina knocked down a contested layup attempt in the middle of the lane on a fast break. Now tied, Reimer positioned herself in the post and received the ball. She faked to her left before turning and hitting a jump shot to her right.
Two possessions later Reimer knocked down a left-handed hook shot with a defender in her face. The Trojans ended the third quarter with a 34-31 lead.
Reimer was the leading scorer for the Trojans with 12 points. Her best basket came on another fast break where she slowed down, stopped, and head faked, which forced two Hesston defenders to float over her head. Wide open, she calmly laid the ball in.
“Sometimes when you get that adrenaline going, the game slows down for you,” Hiebert said.
The play elicited high fives from Reimer’s fellow seniors on the bench. The senior center has struggled at times this year, especially in games facing athletic post players. Hiebert praised Reimer’s aggressive play attacking the basket.
“We’ve challenged her to play more aggressive,” Hiebert said of Reimer.
Bina was the second leading scorer for Hillsboro with 9 points. She scored 4 points in an early fourth quarter stretch. Playing with four forwards on the floor, Courtney Weber, Addie Lackey, Tena Loewen, and Reimer, the Trojans also stymied Hesston’s attack. They took the lead 42-36 about halfway through the fourth quarter.
Although the Trojans held on for the victory, a dark cloud hangs over the win. On a drive a few plays later, Loewen was fouled and fell to the floor on her backside. She did not get up and grimaced in pain. She said her left knee buckled. She was helped off the floor by two Trojan teammates.
At this point, many Hillsboro bench players stopped watching the game, instead choosing to observe a trainer work on Loewen’s left knee. After extensive taping, Loewen was able to get up, walk, and even lightly jog. However, the tape was removed minutes later and she was helped to the locker room by Reimer and Amy Bartel at the end of the game. Hiebert did not know the extent of the injury after the game. Loewen’s father said there was no ligament damage.
Loewen scored 8 points in the game, notched 2 steals, and 2 rebounds. Whichever Hesston post player she was guarding was shut down.
Callie Serene stepped in for Loewen and knocked down a free throw. Reimer hit two free throws a possession later. Then Hesston began to chip away at the lead. Laci McCartney hit a free throw, Hannah Schmitt canned a 3-pointer, and Caylee Richardson sank a close layup. With a McCartney spinning layup, Hesston brought the game within 2 points with 24.5 seconds left.
On two consecutive possessions Reimer and Bina played stout man-to-man defense to force the Swathers to slowly advance the ball. Serene ended the game with a steal behind the Hillsboro basket.
“She did a much better job moving her feet. In other games, she’s gotten into foul trouble reaching,” Hiebert said. “I was really pleased with her defense on big possessions.”